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  • » 10/11/2017, 08.58

    UN - ASIA

    U.N. Chief says death penalty has 'no place in 21st century’



    He urged member states that still carry out executions to join the 170 countries that have halted or abolished the practice. China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq responsible for 87 per cent of all recorded executions. In 2016, executions worldwide were down 37 per cent from 2015. The risk of a miscarriage of justice is an "unacceptably high price" to pay.

     

    New York (AsiaNews/agencies) - U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an end to the death penalty Tuesday, insisting it has "no place in the 21st century."

    He urged member states that still execute convicts to join the 170 countries that have halted or abolished the practice, warning that the risk of a miscarriage of justice is an "unacceptably high price" to pay.

    "I want to make a plea to all states that continue this barbaric practice: please stop the executions," Guterres said at an event marking the 15th World Day Against the Death Penalty.

    Capital punishment "does little to serve victims or deter crime," Guterres said, adding that most of the U.N.'s 193 members do not carry out executions.

    "Just last month, two African states – The Gambia and Madagascar – took major steps towards irreversible abolition of the death penalty," he said. 

    "In 2016, executions worldwide were down 37 per cent from 2015. Today just four countries are responsible for 87 per cent of all recorded executions," he added.

    Those four countries are China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, a U.N. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    Guterres also called for transparency from states where the death penalty is legal, asking them to let lawyers do their job. 

    "Some governments conceal executions and enforce an elaborate system of secrecy to hide who is on death row, and why," Guterres said.

    "Others classify information on the death penalty as a state secret, making its release an act of treason."

    This lack of transparency "shows a lack of respect for the human rights of those sentenced to death and to their families.”

     

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    See also

    03/10/2017 09:53:00 SAUDI ARABIA
    Saudi Arabia reaches one hundred executions in 2017

    The convict was executed for the murder of a fellow citizen. Recently the sentence was confirmed in appeal. Since July, the authorities have conducted an average of five executions per week. Activists denounce government's justice "frenzy". Among the reforms to promote the "moratorium on the death penalty".



    31/01/2006 Saudi Arabia - Iran
    UN to Saudi Arabia: An end to the execution of minors

    At least 126 people on death row for crimes committed while still minors.  Concern also for the execution of minors in Iran.



    27/11/2015 SAUDI ARABIA
    Riyadh plans mass execution of 55 people in one day
    These include those convicted of crimes related to terrorism and internal revolt. The executions are "imminent". In 2015 151 people executed, the highest number since 1995. Activists: the government uses the death sentences to solve the problem of internal dissidence.

    08/11/2008 PAKISTAN
    Pakistani Church against death penalty for cyber terrorists
    The law signed by President Zardari includes the possibility of the death penalty for those found guilty of terrorism using the internet and computers. The justice and peace commission warns the government: "brutal punishments cannot correct or redeem our society." Criticism also from the human rights commission: this increases distrust of the judicial system.

    26/11/2009 SAUDI ARABIA
    Riyadh: man to be decapitated for witchcraft
    In a recent report, Human Rights Watch calls for the sentence to be overturned. Each year, dozens of people are convicted in the desert kingdom for acts against Sharia.



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